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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 3, 2014 1:30pm-3:31pm EST

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quorum call: mr. cardin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: i ask unanimous consent that floor privileges be granted to major david wilson, a u.s. air force officer who is currently serving as a defense legislative fellow in my office for the duration of today's session in the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: this is a bittersweet moment for me because major david wilson who has served in my office in an exemplary way as the air force fellowship program will be leaving my office this week. he has been there for the past year and has been an incredibly valuable member of my staff. i would like to encourage my colleagues to join me in
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thanking my military fellow for his exemplary service to the united states senate and to wish him well in his nexen defer at the pentagon. major david wilson has dedicated his life to serving our nation. david was commissioned by the u.s. air force in 2002 as a graduate of the air force reserve officer training corps at texas tech university. david has served in texas, montana and germany, has been deployed to kuwait, cuba and liberia. he has served the air force in a wide range of missions from personnel and readiness to executive officer and deployed squadron commander. while on active duty, david has earned a master's degree in international relations. major wilson joined my office as part of the air force legislative fellowship program. i know my colleagues are familiar with that program and how valuable it is. it's a year-long program that offers those in the military an opportunity to learn about the legislative process firsthand, but for me it's been an
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additional valuable member of my staff who has advised me on defense issues. he has been very helpful on so many issues. my staff and i will truly miss major wilson. david hit the ground running when he joined the office and started contributing immediately. he is personable, hard working and enthusiastic. he has been a key member of the staff, providing me with concise, extraordinary guide a -- straightforward advice on some of our most defense sensitive issues. he has advised me on issues raising from how to best address claims backlogs and other problems at the veterans administration to military strategy at the islamic state terrorists. i know the presiding officer joins me in knowing the complications and concerns we get from our veterans' community, particularly on delays in getting claims heard. i really thank major wilson for helping us to understand how we could better serve our veterans in this country. david has drafted innovative
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legislation to improve recruitment of our guard and reserve forces, which i hope to introduce soon. david has worked extremely hard to ensure that maryland veterans have adequate and timely access to the services they need. i think our nation's greatest resource is its young people, especially those who have joined our all-volunteer force to defend our country and our way of life. we many times take the opportunity to thank those who wear the uniform of our nation for defending our principles. we think about what's happening around the world. we recognize that here in the united states, we can provide to the god that we want to without fear of intimidation. in other parts of the world, they cut your head off for that. that we can express our opposition to government peacefully, that we can have an election where the outcomes are in the hands of the voters, and we celebrate that. in other countries, they lock people up for dreaming that. our military makes sure that we preserve those freedoms. the air force should be proud of the extraordinary talent they
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have in major david wilson. my staff and i still refer to david as major but in fact he has been selected to the rank of lieutenant colonel, two years before the promotion zone, which is quite an accomplishment. fewer than 1% of the officers up for promotion get promoted two years early, so this is a rare accomplishment. it's not surprising in this instance given david's drive, ambition and talent. i urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating major wilson on his graduation and thanking him for his service to our country. i also want to take this opportunity to thank david's wife susan and daughter ella for sharing him with the united states senate. he has certainly -- we have been enriched by his presence, and i know the late hours that he's worked and the sacrifices he has made to his family. mr. president, i ask that my next comments be separated in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: mr. president, i was pleased to be appointed by the president to be one of the two
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senate representatives to the united nations for the 69th united nations general assembly session. senator ron johnson of wisconsin is the other member and the two of us have visited new york together and we have talked as to how we could best represent the legislative branch of government at the u.s. mission in new york to further the objectives that the united states has within the united nations. just recently, i visited new york and had a chance to meet with helen clark who is the united nations development program director, the former prime minister of new zealand, a person who is instrumentally involved in dealing with the development programs within the united nations. i mention that because we are now at the conclusion of the 2000 millennium development goals. i want to mention that for a moment because our goal was to reduce poverty, increase stability of governments, and as the presiding officer knows, yes, these are core u.s.
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principles. the presiding officer has been very active in africa. he has done an incredible job in africa, in pointing out the needs for reducing poverty and stability. it's our core principles. that's why we do it. our humanitarian foals, yes, absolutely, our participation. but it's also important for our national security goals because if we have nations that are prosperous, that include their people in the prosperity of their nation, have good governance, it's going to be a more stable government, and it will help us have persons who we can rely on to help us deal with world stability rather than having to call upon our military to restore order, this helps us reduce our need for conflicts around the world. so the united nations programs dealing with the millennium development goals were really received when they were conceived a decade ago. there are eight specific goals. what is interesting about this, the eight specific goals had
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specific achievable objectives to achief by 2015 -- to achieve by 2015, and it was basically to reduce poverty and disease by next year. cutting in half the number of undernourished individuals on this planet, to deal with child mortality and maternal health. it was interesting that we recognized last decade that we could deal with some simple issues such as dealing with infection at birth, dealing with nutrition, dealing with how we deal with an infant being able to breathe properly with significant devices and we could significantly improve infant mortality and significantly improve maternal health. so we set those goals. we set the goal of improving primary education because we knew education was the opportunity for children to be able to succeed. gender equity and quality was a
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huge issue. secretary clinton, secretary of state, was our leader on this issue globally. combating hiv-aids, malaria and other diseases, and the united states took a leadership role in the petfar program that made a consequential difference in dealing with the spread of hiv-aids. environmental sustainability was one of our millennium development goals because we recognize that to be perhaps the greatest challenge on how we're going to deal with the sustainability of our environment with the challenges of global climate change. and we also recognized that we needed global partners for development. these are all part of the millennium development goals. we recognize these are not just goals of each nation working together within the united nations to achieve, but it also involved private foundations, involved international organizations, n.g.o.'s all working together in order to achieve these objectives. and guess what? now that we are reaching that
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plateau 2015, we can look back and say we accomplished a great deal for this planet. a 50% reduction in extreme poverty since the millennium development goals were established. that's an incredible accomplishment. we have now safe drinking water. there are so many parts of the world that didn't have safe drinking water when the goals were developed. gender disparity in education has been dramatically reduced. it has been estimated that since the millennium development goals were established, we have saved 100 million babies have survived that would otherwise not survive. mr. president, that's an incredible accomplishment that we have been able to achieve since the development of these goals. yes, there is much more that needs to be done. every year about six million babies die needlessly at birth. we can do much better to save more children. the ebola crisis in west africa
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teaches us that we still need to deal with basic health services in so many countries in the world. the spread of ebola was because they were just not prepared to deal with basic health care needs. could have reduced dramatically the spread of the ebola virus. and we still have unfortunately widespread corruption in countries around the world affecting our millennium development goals. quite frankly, you can't accomplish what you want in a country. that is they get their agricultural sustainable, develop the health clinics you need to deal with gender equity if you have corrupt governments. so dealing with the issue of good governance is clearly an area that we need to improve. so we're now talking about the post-2015 development goals, and the united nations is working on that, helen clark who i talked
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to is working on that. they have some working documents in which they are prepared to come together as they did for the original millennium development goals which offer again additional opportunities. we need to build on what we have done and make sure that we have achievable goals. so i just want to mention a couple of areas that i hope will be included in the post-2015 development goals. first we need to deal with the realities of the current threats that we have. the ebola crisis points that out. it's interesting that nigeria had a few cases of ebola, but they were able to eradicate it. one of the reasons they were able to eradicate it is they had a health clinic set up from the petfar money that was made available through what we did with hiv-aids. the point is this -- let's use this opportunity, this crisis of ebola to make sure that we have basic health care services in all our countries so that we don't have another ebola-type crisis in the future.
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that should be clearly one of our development goals. let's deal with good governance by having anticorruption. in my work as chair of the u.s. helsinki commission, we have workable ways that can you deal with dealing with corruption in countries and how you can fight corruption, our trade negotiators right now which are dealing with countries that are developing countries in the trans-pacific partnership are looking at how we can improve good governance in the countries through trade legislation. we can be the leader in dealing with good governance and anticorruption issues, and it should be a millennium development goal post-2015. we need to have specific targets on educating boys and girls, on health access, food security, climate change, good governance, and the u.s. can be a leader. i do want to point out and the presiding officer is very much aware of this. we had taken steps in this administration and this congress to pave the way for the post-
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2015 millennium development goals, and they are -- for example, we have be the future initiative where we -- feed the future initiative where we help small farmers, particularly women, in dealing with sustainable agricultural products. we don't just give food to the poor. we're looking at changing the economics within the country so that they can have sustainable agriculture. the global development lab that administrator shaw has proposed, and again the presiding officer is one of the leaders on that. but here what you are doing, you are taking the usaid development assistance dollars, you're leveraging it with the work already being done by our academic senators here in america that are active internationally. i'm proud of the work that johns hopkins does globally, and i'm sure many members of the senate know the great work done by their academic centers, with private companies. why private companies? because they get markets. they are interested in working with us to help sustainable economic progress in other countries which helps us and
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allows our development assistance to be leveraged and to go further. we need to be a leader in the post-2015 goals for the millennium development within the united nations. i just really want to underscore this last point. we need to do this because that's who we are. that's our values. our values are humanitarian. we believe that we all have responsibilities to help, and that includes globally, but we do it because our national security also depends upon it. we really understand that our national security is more than our soldiers and our weapons. very important, those who serve in our military. but our diplomacy and development assistance and having stable governments globally helps us become a more stable society, helps us with our own national security. so i urge my colleagues to be involved with us. i look forward to working with
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senator johnson at the united nations as we pursue many, many different missions, but i hope one that we will pursue is the continuation of the millennium development goals post-2015 to continue to make progress on reducing world poverty and hunger. with that, mr. president, i would suggest -- i would first ask consent that time in quorum call be equally divided between the democrat time and the republican time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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